Michelle Loxton

Host and Reporter

Michelle Loxton joined KAZU in 2019. Her radio career started in her home country of South Africa where she worked in both community and commercial radio. Before moving to the Monterey Bay Area, she worked in the United Arab Emirates for almost five years at the Arabian Radio Network. Michelle has experience as a reporter, host, news reader and producer. She is excited to be working in public radio in the United States for the first time.

Ways to Connect

Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic many businesses have had to cope with closing and reopening as the state goes in and out of various types of lockdowns. But there are some businesses that have never reopened, either because they weren’t allowed to or because financial strain forced permanent closure. 



Monterey County is asking Governor Newsom for more coronavirus vaccine. Essentially, county supervisors are saying the current allocation process is unfair. KAZU News spoke with the Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Wendy Root Askew.


@sccounty on Twitter.


With last week’s winter storm behind us, damage assessments are underway. KAZU News spoke with some of the people who predicted what could happen with a rain storm of this kind to see if their fears came to fruition. 

UC Santa Cruz.

A group of linguists at UC Santa Cruz are on a mission to save a rarely studied endangered language. Through investigation and collaboration, they hope to preserve an indigenous language spoken by communities from Mexico now living in the Monterey Bay area.

National Weather Service

Fire season in California is now year round. That was very apparent locally when multiple fires ignited in Santa Cruz County late Monday, prompting evacuations. KAZU News reports on the weather conditions that precipitate wildfire.

Michelle Loxton.

Locally, staying at home has become the norm. But this forced constriction has brought to life the idea of flourishing within the boundaries of a smaller world. And one of the ways to do that is through backyard exploration -- going on an adventure in a familiar place. 

Kevin Cooper

The rainy season is upon us here in the Monterey Bay area and because of this summer’s major wildfires, the season will be accompanied with a significant risk of debris flows. KAZU News reports on the many local communities at risk.

Del Monte Assisted Living

Since the beginning of the pandemic, facilities that care for the elderly have been hot spots for the spread of COVID-19. And a new report says nationwide new cases in nursing homes have reached record numbers this month. Locally, some have been able to stop the virus from entering their facilities, but others have not.


Over the last month, counties neighboring Monterey County have seen a decreased spread of the coronavirus and have been allowed to drop restrictions on many businesses. That hasn’t happened in Monterey County. KAZU News explains the extremely complicated process of reopening.

Stock PHOTO BY Element5 Digital VIA UNSPLASH



Tuesday is Election Day and polling places look a lot different this year. The coronavirus has completely changed the in-person voting experience. KAZU looked into what pandemic election preparedness looks like. 



Monterey County’s four hospitals have joined forces again to talk about COVID-19, but this time with a caveat -- flu season is almost here.

Michelle Loxton.

Small business owner Jeff Gorman is one of the candidates running for California’s 20th Congressional District seat. Gorman is a Republican. This is his first time running for the House of Representatives.

Congressman Jimmy Panetta.

Congressman Jimmy Panetta is one of the candidates running for California’s 20th Congressional District seat. Panetta is the incumbent Democratic. He is undefeated and running for his third term in the House of Representatives.

Michelle Loxton

Wildfires can have a lasting impact on the natural environment. New life can sprout from the ashes, but some things are lost forever. To understand the long-term impacts on the Monterey Bay area, we studied three examples: a beloved park, almost extinct birds and some famous trees.

Monterey Jazz Festival (screen shot taken by Michelle Loxton)

For the first time in its history, the Monterey Jazz Festival will be completely virtual this year. It won’t be live. Instead, it will be appointment viewing. That means from September 25, for three days, you’ll have to be in front of a screen between 5 and 7 p.m. PST if you want to catch all the performances. 




The 2020 census has been marred by challenges. Census workers across the U.S. are waiting to see when in-person counting must end. The Census Bureau cut counting short this year, but that’s currently being challenged in the courts. As we wait for a decision, KAZU News checked in with those responsible for getting a complete count in Monterey County. 

Natalia Jessen Fleschig.


Emotionally spent! That’s what many residents say they’re feeling now, after days of wildfires burning across the Central Coast. Some have fled their homes after being told to "leave now." Others had to anxiously wait to see if they would be ordered to evacuate. And then there’s those who defied evacuation orders in hopes of defending their properties.    


Red Cross


Not so long ago, people were told to stay home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, thousands have been told to leave as multiple wildfires burn across the Central Coast. And because of COVID-19, emergency operations have also had to evolve. 

Michelle Loxton.


Over the past few days, the smoke from the River Fire burning southeast of Salinas has evolved. First, it was a huge mushroom-shaped cloud ascending high into the sky. And now, that smoke has descended into the valleys and is blanketing much of the Monterey Bay region. 

Salud Para La Gente

When you study COVID-19 data for the Monterey Bay Area, you'll notice a trend that is also present nationwide - people of color are being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. Locally, it's the Latino and Hispanic communities.